It's the start of winter, and Patrick is beginning to feel crowded out of his own family. His father's friend, Linda, and her seven-year-old daughter, Claire, are coming for dinner again. By the time spring arrives, not only is Patrick's father planning to marry Linda, but she and Claire will be coming to live with them at the summer's end. That just won’t do. So Patrick comes up with a big idea. He'll build a tree house where he can stretch out his arms and breathe. But wait. Will his father allow it? Where will he find the perfect tree? Who will give him a hand with the construction? And, most importantly, will his own tree house really be the hideaway he hopes for, especially from the irritating Claire?
As the autumn season arrives, Patrick discovers some surprising answers to these questions – and learns a little about the meaning of family.
The story starts off as Patrick is running out to play in the first day of snow with his best friend. He is not happy that his father's friend Linda is coming over because her 7 year old, Claire, is nothing but a pest to him. She seems to always get into his things and take precious time from his Dad and brother, Trevor.
Additionally, he does not like Linda because, although he cannot remember times when his mother wasn't sick, he does not want anyone to take her place. He needs room to breathe and have space of his own.
As the seasons change, Patrick finds out that his best friend is going to have a baby sister or brother soon and is all too happy to be a big brother. Patrick does not understand this at all.
His best friend agrees to help him build a treehouse on land that is a neighbors, right as his Father begins to make room for Claire.
Claire and Linda's arrival does not help his feelings on the whole matter and he runs to the treehouse for solace when he can, leaving Claire behind. She begins to change too as they move in with Patrick and his family.
As Winter comes around again, Patrick finds out that maybe he and Claire are not so different after all and that acceptance and love is the answer.
Will Patrick ever allow Claire in the treehouse? Will Patrick be able to have better relationship with his Father post Linda and Claire? Will the seasons change again in better understanding of others?
Ah, well, you know, then you must read the book to find out.
Four Seasons of Patrick can be easily read within a couple of hours as it is a short novel.
This chapter book aimed at 6-10 year olds is just right for the child who is learning to cope with others being introduced into his/her lives. It is also perfect to help children to understand that they can have their feelings but to try to understand that others may just be having the same feelings. This book points out that talking to someone about how you feel is often better than being destructive or at best using anger to create something positive.
This book also included at the end a question guide that could be used for additional resources. The questions are poignant and of course refer back to the book itself which might be nice for homeschooling parents.
I give this book 4 stars.
Where you can find the author, Susan Hughes: